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Just downloaded our PGA Tour Q-School application, it’s never too early to start dreaming, and suffered a little sticker shock when we noticed the price tag: $5,500 for those signing up for first stage after Sept. 22.

The good news, at least for those who make it to final stage the first week of December, is that the finale returns to Orange County National, the best of all recent Fall Classic venues, for the first time since 2007.

The bad news is a Tour card isn’t worth as much as it once was. According to an access snapshot on the application, Q-School graduates played between 18 to 29 events in 2009 depending on their finish at the finale, that’s down from 30 to 19 starts in 2008 and 30 to 21 in 2007. That’s tough inflation for a Tour type.